Wó! Ingar líz lábles! Lákhrest! “Agh! Don't hurt me! Help!” The frighted Wombát cried, huddling in cold mud of the path, clutching at creepers. Hearing his voice, the shadowy form stopped short, it's sword arm still outstretched. It seemed to hesitate, as if unsure. Líz é Húla lé? “That's not Húla, is it?” The form asked, clearly very surprised. “Yes! It's me! Don't hurt me! Who are you?” He asked. “Húla, it's me, Phólatip. I buy bread from you every Thursday afternoon.” The baker climbed carefully to his feet, wiping his hands together on account of the mud. “Phólatip, really? Is that you? What on earth are you doing out here? More to the point, why did you try to kill me?” The other Wombát looked sheepish. “Oh, nothing. I thought... well...” “What?” “Nothing! Let's you and me head into town while we can.” Húla was getting cold standing still, and so was not one to argue.
The two trudged on in silence, but the Baker (a good deal sobered by his run-in on the path) could not help but notice that his companion was getting increasingly nervous and seemed somehow ill at ease. Phólatip, who was a soldier stationed at the small hill fort above Smórg, was not in uniform, but was girded with his sword belt and sword, the handle of which he would fumble with intermittently. As they continued along the path towards the town, the situation worsened until Húla could tell that Phólatip could barely stand for the nervous tremors that were wracking his frame. Just as the concerned baker was about to ask the soldier what was bothering him, Phólatip halted sharply in his tracks and began to flail wildly. To Húla's infinite astonishment, the other Wombát then ripped of his cloak and trousers despite the cutting wind, and flung his sword belt aside. Húla stood stunned, frozen with shock, as he watched his friend give him one last panicked look over his shoulder then tear off into the dark pines above the trail to the east.
Húla bent to examine his companion's abandoned possessions with ideas of picking up his cloak and then trying to find the poor Wombát, who was obviously in the grips of some brain fever or other, but when he touched the material, he leaped back as if bitten by a snake. A look of pure terror crossed his poor face as he staggered forward. He broke into as fast a run as his stubby limbs would allow. As he thudded down the hill towards the few dim lights left burning in the sleepy village, all that an observer could have understood of his terror stricken babble was the word óló... “Stone!”